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LURÇAT BERNEDE

WHITFORD F I N E A R T 6 DUKE STREET ST. JAMES’S LONDON SW1Y 6BN TEL.+44(0)20 7930 9332 info@whitfordfineart.com w w w. w h i t f o r d f i n e a r t . c o m


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Ceramics by

JEAN LURÇAT Paintings by

GEORGES BERNEDE

8 March – 7 April 2017

All Works are for Sale

WHITFORD F I N E A R T

6 DUKE STREET ST. JAMES’S LONDON SW1Y 6BN +44 (0)20 7930 9332 info@whitfordfineart.com


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Poetry in Motion Whitford Fine Art is proud to present a second exhibition of French artists Jean Lurçat (1892-1966) and Georges Bernede (b. 1926). Bringing together two artists from a different generation, tradition, and background, the exhibition shows their common ground of the universal themes of freedom, movement and poetry. An important and successful painter of the School of Paris, Jean Lurçat singlehandedly revived tapestry-making as an art form during the 1930s. Lurçat’s artistic eye simultaneously wandered towards a multitude of other media, including engraving, book illustrations and - most notably - ceramics. Over a period of sixteen years Lurçat worked away abundantly at Firmin Bauby’s Mas Sant Vicens ceramic works in the Southern French city of Perpignan. As of 1950 Lurçat travelled from his home in Saint-Céré (Lot) to Perpignan once or twice per year until his death in 1966. During his residences, Lurçat made master copies which were kept as models to make numbered editions. Lurçat’s association with the Sant Vicens workshop gave it an international dimension, and other artists such as Picard le Doux and Marc Saint-Saëns joined in. Imaginary and mythological sea - and wood creatures and foliage are winding their ways in thickly applied saturated colours overlaid with brilliant glaze. Creatures plucked from the Apocalypse and the Zodiac demonstrate Lurçat’s fondness of the symbolic and poetry which formed the core of his artistic expression. Thus a plate, a bowl, a jug or a tile, becomes an object of beauty and exquisiteness. Lurçat’s poetry is ultimately derived from the excellence of the Art Nouveau style. In his unsurpassed love for all things rural, Lurçat was particularly attached to the rooster and the owl. Respectively synonymous for the sunrise and wisdom, both symbolise the awakening of the spirit. Lurçat’s ceramics proved popular and were shown in 1952 at the Maison de la Pensée française, Paris, in 1963 at the Hannover Museum in Hannover, in 1964 at the Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris, in 1965 at the landmark exhibition Ceramiche Lurçat-Picasso at La Bussola Gallery in Turin, and in 2004 at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Georges Bernede's quest for poetry and beauty on the other hand was achieved through his own human struggle. Bernede’s teenage years were marked by the hardships of the Second World War in his natal village of Monségur, an insular bastide town near Bordeaux. Whilst his father had been taken prisoner of war, his mother earned a meagre living as a seamstress. As such, Bernede was forced to start work as a carpenter’s apprentice as of 1940. Unable to afford painting materials, the young Bernede would compose scenes in his head, whilst wandering the woods, marvelling at nature, the play of light and shade and its


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reflections on water. His desire to become a painter was mocked by the inhabitants of Monségur, who considered art as a frivolous pastime for the wealthy. Bordeaux was notoriously known for its conservatism and its painters did not warm to Abstraction until the mid-1950s, twenty years after Abstraction became a recognized movement in Paris. Bernede’s exhibitions of work at the 1946 Salon de Mai of the Artistes Indépendants Bordelais and his 1949 showing of ‘La Bicyclette’ at the Salon des Artistes Indépendants Bordelais caused scandal and were considered nonsense. Faced with rejection, Bernede continued to paint in solitude and rarely showed his work. Thus, Bernede did not suffer any pressure to conform to any commercial demand or intellectual expectations and had the chance to explore art freely. In his continuous search to express the poetry of Life, Bernede tried to establish an analogy to musical rhythm in his painting and thus naturally grew to gestural painting, partnered with a monochrome palette. Whilst being deceptively subtle, Bernede’s paintings show dramatic movement and impact through the energetic application of the paint. Whilst both artists witnessed the same artistic spirit of France during the first half of the twentieth century, the difference in their artistic outputs offers a dynamic juxtaposition of vibrant colours and monochromatic intensity, dream-like figuration and virile gestural abstraction. A.J.F.

10. GEORGES BERNEDE

Composition 89, 1989 Oil on canvas 65 x 50 cm Signed and dated Cover of the landmark exhibition Ceramiche Lurçat-Picasso at La Bussola Gallery in Turin, 1965.


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24. JEAN LURÇAT

Green Mermaid, c.1955 Glazed ceramic jug 39 cm high Inscribed "Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, B.C., 8/50"


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27. JEAN LURÇAT

Blue Rooster, c.1955 Glazed ceramic charger 40 cm diameter Inscribed "Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, 20”


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21. GEORGES BERNEDE

17. GEORGES BERNEDE

Composition, 1993 65 x 50 cm Ink on paper Signed and dated

Composition, 1991 65 x 50 cm Ink on paper Signed and dated

20. GEORGES BERNEDE

18. GEORGES BERNEDE

Composition, 1993 65 x 50 cm Ink on paper Signed and dated

Composition, 1991 65 x 50 cm Ink on paper Signed and dated


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1. GEORGES BERNEDE

Composition 84 - 5, 1984 Oil on canvas 100 x 81 cm Signed and dated


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8. GEORGES BERNEDE

Composition 88 - 16, 1988 Oil on canvas 116 x 89 cm Signed and dated


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26. JEAN LURÇAT

Forest Sentinels, c.1955 Glazed ceramic jug 26 cm high Inscribed "Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens” Unnumbered edition


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44. JEAN LURÇAT

White Mermaid, c.1955 Glazed ceramic plate 23 x 23 cm Inscribed "Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens” Unnumbered edition


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12. GEORGES BERNEDE

Composition 89 - 21, 1989 Oil on canvas 65 x 48.5 cm Signed and dated


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3. GEORGES BERNEDE

Composition 84 - 25, 1984 Oil on canvas 130 x 97 cm Signed and dated

13. GEORGES BERNEDE

Composition 89 - 47, 1989 Oil on canvas 55 x 36 cm Signed and dated


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28. JEAN LURÇAT

Troubadour, c.1955 Glazed ceramic bowl 40 cm diameter Inscribed "Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, H.F., 1/50”


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22-23. JEAN LURÇAT

Dryad and Aura, c.1955 Glazed ceramic bowls 6 x 16.5 cm each Each inscribed "Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens” Unnumbered edition

40. JEAN LURÇAT

Night, c.1955 Glazed ceramic charger 54 x 28.5 cm Inscribed "Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, K.I., 14/100”

7. GEORGES BERNEDE Composition 88 - 03, 1988 Oil on canvas 114 x 146 cm Signed and dated


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42. JEAN LURÇAT

Blue Moon, c.1955 Glazed ceramic charger 32 x 48 cm Inscribed "Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, D.L., 22/50, dessin III”

51. JEAN LURÇAT

Cybele, c.1955 Glazed ceramic vase 72 cm high Inscribed "Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens” Unnumbered edition


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30. JEAN LURÇAT

Wood Creature, c.1955 Glazed ceramic plate 25 cm diameter Inscribed "III Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, V.i. 2” Unnumbered edition

© Whitford Fine Art, London, 2017 Catalogue by An Jo Fermon Exhibition management by Gabriel Toso Photography by Mario Bettella Produced by Artmedia Press Ltd • London


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LURÇAT BERNEDE

WHITFORD F I N E A R T 6 DUKE STREET ST. JAMES’S LONDON SW1Y 6BN TEL.+44(0)20 7930 9332 info@whitfordfineart.com w w w. w h i t f o r d f i n e a r t . c o m

POETRY IN MOTION, Ceramics by Jean Lurçat & Paintings by Georges Bernède  

Whitford Fine Art is proud to present an exhibition of French artists Jean Lurçat and Georges Bernède. Bringing together two artists from di...

POETRY IN MOTION, Ceramics by Jean Lurçat & Paintings by Georges Bernède  

Whitford Fine Art is proud to present an exhibition of French artists Jean Lurçat and Georges Bernède. Bringing together two artists from di...